People always comment that, being a photographer, I must have lots of great photos of my family. And while I do get my camera out pretty much every single day to take photos of my three, I'm not really in any of them.
Family photography: An investment for the future
Believe me, I'm definitely more comfortable behind the camera than I am infront of it, but family photographs are more than just pretty pictures to print out and place around your home. They are an investment for your future. They are tangible memories for your whole family, for you, your partner, and most importantly of all, your children.
They are a visual record that says you were here, that you were loved and that you matter.
A family shoot for a photographer
With this in mind, I put aside all thoughts of trying yet again to lose the 'baby weight' (it's been 2.5 years since the last one, I might have to make peace with the fact I can exercise all I like, these hips are probably here to stay) and booked in a photoshoot with a photographer whose work I absolutely adore. She's based in Toronto, which would normally have been a bit of an obstacle but, luckily, we were heading to Canada for a spring holiday.
On the day of the shoot, with me stressing about what everyone was wearing, my two-year-old insisting we find the nearest playground immediately and my four-year-old absolutely refusing to have any photographs taken of him (before the camera had even made an appearance), I wondered what on earth I was doing. Of course I needn't have worried because Jenny is one of the loveliest people I've met.
She put us all at ease, got my kids giggling, my husband relaxed and me practically forgetting I was infront of the camera instead of behind it.
Memories are forever
I took lots of photos on our holiday (1,629 to be precise), looking at them will bring back memories of the special time we had together on such a fun holiday.
And I know that when I look at Jenny's photos of our family, photos with me in them, it's not just the place I'll remember but the time as well. I'll remember how long my daughter's hair was, and how gorgeously golden her soft curls were in the sun. I'll remember her obsession with finding and trying out every playground we saw and how much she delighted in her brother's company. I'll remember how she insisted on being near or on me all the time (I know this favouritism won't last).
I'll remember how easily my son laughed and how simple games of chase and catch with his sister and dad provided such endless delight. I'll remember how heavy he was to hold, but holding him nonetheless, small arms wrapped around my neck, because he'll soon be too big for me to pick up. I'll remember him telling me he loved me (a rare occurrence and a big deal) , his love of being tickled, his easy delight in simple things like going on a slide, running down a hill.
I'll remember how fantastic my husband is with them, making up new games, revelling in play and love and laughter. In short, I'll remember all the things I love most about him, I'll remember us, just as we are right now.
Your memories matter
Having to sell everything we owned and moving half a world away from where I was born at the age of 18 taught me a very important lesson: Possessions, no matter how prized or valuable are fleeting and will come and go. But memories: memories of who you are, where you have been, who you have loved and who you matter the most to, these are treasures which have a value that is immeasurable. And that is why family photography is so important and why these beautiful photographs taken by Jenny are priceless to me.
To see more of Jenny's beautiful work - click here.